Patient-reported symptoms can improve treatment outcomes and save resources

There is growing evidence that digital systems for cancer patient remote monitoring and symptom reporting can improve patient quality of life, save costs and possibly even increase survival rates.

In December E. Basch et al. published the results of a randomized controlled trial in the Journal of Clinical Oncology about digital symptom reporting by cancer patients on chemotherapy. The results were very encouraging. By patients self-reporting their symptoms, the investigators were able to improve quality-of-life significantly, to prolong time on treatment, and to raise survival rates of the patients. In addition, the need for expensive emergency-room visits and hospitalizations was decreased, especially among the group of computer-inexperienced patients, who were on average older, more often men, and less educated.

This is groundbreaking news for all of us, as improved treatment outcomes are what cancer professionals care most about. But what about the cost savings, how big of an opportunity could that be?

In short, it’s huge, perhaps one of the biggest opportunities out there. As the management consultancy McKinsey wrote in a recent article, oncology spending in US alone is expected to reach $174 billion by 2020 and “recent studies suggest that the largest opportunity for reducing cancer-related costs lies in minimizing the number of avoidable inpatient stays due to side effects of cancer therapy, as well as avoidable use of intensive care units”. And if you look at what kind of inpatient stays would be avoidable, just think about severe side effects of cytostatic drugs such as neutropenic fever or diarrhea, which can, if diagnosed and treated early, be managed in an out-patient setting, supported by digital patient monitoring and symptom reporting.

In retrospect, all this seems logical. As there is increasing evidence that up to half of patients’ symptoms are consistently missed by cancer care professionals, an effective and user friendly service for structured symptom reporting by patient themselves is bound to improve not only the patient experience, but also outcomes and costs.



July 03rd 2019

Varian to Provide Mobile Technology to Cancer Patients Across Tennessee

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Providing cancer patients an opportunity for increased participation in their treatment, Varian (NYSE: VAR) today announced its collaboration with Tenn...

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February 15th 2019

Varian Demonstrating Smarter Cancer Care Solutions at HIMSS19

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Varian (NYSE: VAR) today announced it will be demonstrating a portfolio of smarter cancer care software solutions, February 12-14 in Orlando, FL at HIMS...

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October 12th 2018

Varian Expands Cancer Care Portfolio with Noona Healthcare Acquisition

PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Varian (NYSE: VAR) today announced the acquisition of privately-held software company Noona Healthcare, developer of a cloud-based, mobile service desi...

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January 26th 2018

Claudio D´Ambrosio named Chief Commercial Officer, US at Noona Healthcare

Noona Healthcare has appointed Claudio D´Ambrosio, PhD, to the position of Chief Commercial Officer, US as of 22.1.2018. He will join Noona´s management team being responsible for c...

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October 19th 2017

Emmanuel Blin named Chairman of the Board at Noona Healthcare

Noona Healthcare has appointed Emmanuel Blin to the position of Chairman of the Board as of 18.10.2017. He will work closely with Noona management and board members to impleme...

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August 31st 2017

Noona hosted IxDA designer network event

We had the honor to host the designer network IxDA Helsinki’s monthly meet-up in August ( We had a full house of designers listening talks and discussing around the subject...

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